Q: What is the University of Maine's role in this project? 
A: A Maine company, Maine Aqua Ventus I, GP LLC, whose three general partners consist of two world-class businesses—Cianbro and Emera—and Maine Prime Technologies, LLC, a spin-off company representing the University of Maine, submitted a proposal to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in response to a Request for Proposals for deepwater offshore wind pilot projects. Maine Aqua Ventus will build the New England Aqua Ventus I project off the coast of Monhegan, Maine.

University of Maine’s (UMaine) Advanced Structures and Composites Center, under the direction of Dr. Habib Dagher, P.E., developed the innovative, patent-pending VolturnUS technology that makes Maine Aqua Ventus possible. It assembled the consortium of collaborators and supporters without whom this vision would not be realized. To read about VolturnUS 1:8, the existing one-eighth scale floating offshore wind project that Maine Aqua Ventus builds upon, please click here.



Q: What is VolturnUS?
A: VolturnUS is the name of UMaine's proprietary offshore floating wind turbine technology. The first platform to bear this name, VolturnUS 1:8, is a one-eighth scale, fully operating version of the full-scale concept. It is the first offshore floating wind turbine project in the U.S. VolturnUS 1:8 was launched from Cianbro Corporation's facility in Brewer, Maine, on May 31, 2013, and currently operates off the coast of Castine, Maine. The name itself is a portmanteau of the words "volt," "turn," and "U.S." Coincidentally, Volturnus was a "god of the waters" in Roman mythology.



Q: Who is commercializing the Maine Aqua Ventus I project?
A: Maine Aqua Ventus I, GP, LLC, is the company formed to commercialize this floating offshore wind technology. It will build the New England Aqua Ventus I project.

 

Q: How will this pilot project be financed?
A. There are four components to the MAV financial plan. First, the current partners are making investments in the project. Second, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the project as eligible for $39.9 million for construction. Third, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) can provide a contract to purchase power. Fourth, private sector debt and equity investment will provide the remainder of project financing.

 

Q: Where in Maine will the Maine Aqua Ventus I pilot project be located?
A: The State of Maine designated the Offshore Wind Test Site, 2 miles south of Monhegan Island as the University of Maine Offshore wind energy research site. The New England Aqua Ventus I project, 2 x 6MW floating turbines will be located here.


Q: What is the useful life of Maine Aqua Ventus I structures?
A: The VolturnUS technology, utilizing concrete hulls, has a targeted useful life of ~60 years. The hulls will be towed to shore for turbine replacement every 20-25 years.

 

 Q: Where can I download a copy of the term sheet?

A: You may download a copy of the term sheet here.

 

Q: How is Maine Aqua Ventus I GP LLC (MAV) planning to characterize the potential changes to tourism caused by the project?

A: Maine Aqua Ventus I GP LLC committed to a three step process to examine potential changes in Monhegan Island tourism caused by the offshore wind demonstration project:
(1) MAV partnered with University of Maine (UMaine) researchers to examine previous examples of offshore wind energy projects to characterize what is known nationally and internationally about this issue.
(2) MAV partnered with UMaine researchers to compile information (as provided by Monhegan) related to current Monhegan Island tourism, including capacity, demographics, and seasonality of visitor types.
(3) Finally, MAV partnered with UMaine researchers in 2014 to survey Monhegan Island visitors to characterize attitudes related to the project.
The results of these studies have been will be shared with the Monhegan Island Energy Task Force to identify challenges, concerns, and opportunities generated as a result of the project.
If you have information that may help in this type of analysis, do not hesitate to contact Mario Teisl teisl@maine.edu or Damian Brady damian.brady@maine.edu.

 

Q: Where can I find more resources about the project?

A: See below. 

Related legislation.

Proposal to the MPUC.

Draft Term Sheet.

Economic Impact Report.